SINGAPORE - Singapore's voter rolls are being revised to ensure they are current.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has directed that the revision of the registers of electors be made and completed by April 30, according to a notice put up on Monday in the Government Gazette.
The Parliamentary Elections Act requires that the voter rolls be updated not more than three years after a general election. It also provides for the Prime Minister to call for revisions from time to time.
This revision would be the second after the May 7, 2011 general election.
The first revision, which was completed last year, showed that there were 2,411,188 eligible voters.
The Elections Department said in its notice that the latest revision would "bring the registers up to date".
MPs and political observers saw it as a routine exercise to ensure that all those who can vote would be able to do so at the next election, due by January 2017.
Singapore Management University law professor Eugene Tan said: "I don't think it points to elections being imminent. Given that the Elections Department has been making it a good practice to make regular updates, I see this as good housekeeping."
MPs Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC) and Inderjit Singh (Ang Mo Kio GRC) agreed.
Mr Zaqy said: "I wouldn't read too much into it. The updates are just to take into consideration any recent changes, for example people moving homes, moving into new estates."
Mr Singh said it would also make sure that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has the latest information on population numbers when it is eventually set up.
The convening of the committee is the first sign of an upcoming general election.
The revised registers will contain the names of all Singapore citizens who qualify to be electors as of Feb 1 this year.
This includes Singaporeans who turned 21 and new immigrants who have taken up Singapore citizenship since Feb 1 last year, the cut-off date when the registers were last revised.
Before the 2011 election, the voter rolls were revised three times - once in February 2009, once in February 2010, and another time in January 2011.
Between the 1988 and 1991 general elections, the rolls were revised just once.
But the registers were revised on two occasions each time ahead of the elections in 1997, 2001 and 2006.
To qualify as an elector, a person has to be a Singapore citizen. He must also be 21 years old or older as of Feb 1 this year and also cannot be disqualified as an elector under any written law.
In addition, the person must have a Singapore residential address registered with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority as of Feb 1 this year.
This is so that his name can be entered or retained in the register for a constituency.
The Elections Department will give details later about public inspection of the revised electoral rolls.
For more information, go to http://www.eld.gov.sg/elections.html